Why Rio?

There’s really no place quite like Rio de Janeiro. You could easily spend a week or two exploring new neighbourhoods, lounging on the beaches or hiking up to it’s many viewpoints. It’s an incredible city, one which I have returned to many times in my two trips to Brazil and can’t recommend it enough. With the help of Books Hostel owner and good friend, Felipe, we’ve put together this guide for you to help plan your trip.


"There is something about Rio that is so addictive and has tempted me on 4 or 5 different occasions now. The hikes, the beaches, the weather, it's hard to explain but this place is my favourite city IN THE WORLD. It's landscape is unlike anything you'll have seen before and the upbeat buzz to the Brazilian people and their culture will draw you in."

Two Brothers (Dois Irmãos) Hike

Get yourself up early, hop in a taxi to Vigidal, jump on the back of a mototaxi to the start of the trail. After an hour and a half or so, you’ll be treated to THE best view of Rio de Janeiro.

Sunset at Pedra De Arpoador

Sunset here will offer you a different perspective of Rio de Janeiro, as does all the different hikes and views but this one for sunset is special, and it’s free! Situated between Ipanema and Copacabana, grab a bottle of Brahma from a street vendor and enjoy.

Esqueleto Gávea Abandoned Hotel

This ghost hotel has been completely abandoned for the last 45 years. Despite its spooky name ‘Skeleton Hotel’ and its story as a ghost hotel, it’s becoming one of the coolest hangouts in Rio

A night in Lapa

Undoubtedly the most vibrant part of Rio at night. With lots of open-air bars and street parties regularly, it’s an atmosphere you have to witness. Lapa is situated next to Santa Teresa, which also has some really lovely bars.

Explore these unique experiences and amazing tours


Looking for long term stays? Read our guide below. 

If you’re looking for short-term stays:

Looking for long term stays? Read our guide below. 

If you’re looking for short-term stays:


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For buses always check For foreigners the only website you will be able to buy online is Not a bad one but charge you 10% more. From Rio to Ilha Grande it makes sense to hire a transfer through [email protected] . Flights ask for help at front desk in any hostel. We always help people to get flights. I like to use however, as said, it is hard if you don’t speak Portuguese.

Novo Rio bus station is located in the North most part of the central city, close to Lapa but as said before, a quick 15-30 minute taxi wherever you need to go.

Uber in Rio de Janeiro is very cheap indeed. For safety and efficiency, I’d recommend using Uber, especially at night but during the day too, easy to get to beaches and gardens.

Our Community

Talk to one of our ambassadors for bespoke advice or read our students blogs.

Alfie Laurence

“Hi I’m Alfie and I studied in Valencia and worked in Brazil on my year abroad in 2018/19. I absolutely love banging on about travel and languages so get in touch if you have any questions about South America, Erasmus life in Spain and tips on learning a language. I’m here to help!”

Sam Dickson

"Hey i’m Sam, I spent the first half my year abroad in the South of Spain in La Línea while working for EY in Gibraltar. Then in 2021 i’m studying in Tomsk in Siberia for the Russian. I will also be working next summer in Spain as well. Having a great time and am very happy to help with searching for placements in Spain, planning a year abroad during covid, anything Russian and general Latin American advice."